Army seeks to purchase 10 loitering ammunition launchers & 120 munitions
The Army has rolled out the process of buying ten all-weather loitering ammunition launchers on fast track basis which can be deployed in high altitude as well as desert along the borders with China and Pakistan. Together with launchers, the Army has sought to purchase 120 loiter munitions which has endurance of two hours and capability to manoeuvre at an altitude of minimum 300 m . The Army issued a Request for Information (RFI) on November 1, seeking response from the industry under Buy India category. The follow-up step of Request for Proposal (RFP) is expected to be out in public domain by November 14.
The munitions, as per the Army’s requirement, should be either high explosive pre-fragmented (HEPF) or have anti-armour warhead having minimum 8 kg weight. The “Aerial Targeting System (Extended Range)“, the technical name for launchers, should accompany training and maintenance aggregates.
Automated target tracking
According to the RFI issued on November 1, the launchers should have minimum 100 km range and accuracy of at least 2 m circular error probable (CEP) which is a measure of a weapon system’s precision. It should be able to fire from a high altitude of 4000 m or more and be able to opt for target acquisition during day and night, said the Army. The system should also have an automated target tracking capability.
The munition, demanded the Army in the RFI, should have abort, re-attack and re-use capability. Besides that, the system should also allow homing on to the allocated target even if communication from ground station is disrupted and empower the operator from control station to lock-on or lock-off the target.
The launcher vehicle should be 4×4 and of 7.5 ton, like Ashoka Leyland Stallion or any other vehicle with similar/enhanced specification duly modified for fitting canisters/towing launcher. It should have “on board command, control and communication stations and power supply systems and capable of launching the projectile in autonomous mode,” said the RFI.
Forward control stations
Similarly, the forward control stations, among others, should have handheld devices to take over control of munition launched through launcher. The system should have antenna enabling long range communication till 100 km, so that it also engages with munition system at the maximum ranges.
The Army has desired that the launchers should be able to operate in all terrains and all-weather — ranging from minimum of -20 o C to maximum of 40-55 o C .